Inulin. You may have come across this ingredient on a label and thought, what is it? Is this insulin misspelled? No, it is not. Inulin is a great fiber source you may have overlooked and is wonderful for supporting gut health.
What Is Inulin?
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Inulin is a type of fiber found in fruits, vegetables and even herbs. It is produced naturally by plants and used as a source of energy. Inulin has numerous health benefits such as assisting with digestive health, relieving constipation, aiding in weight management, helping regulate blood sugar, and more. Pretty cool, right?
Tell Me More About Inulin
Actually inulin has been around for quite some time. Inulin was discovered by German scientist Valentin Rose in the 1800s. (Yep, the 1800s.)
Inulin is a prebiotic fiber, which we love. If you have been reading this blog, you already know that prebiotics are the good stuff that feed the healthy bacteria (probiotics) in our gut.
Inulin is also a soluble fiber. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and creates a gel-like substance in the gutthat helps reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water but instead helps food pass through the digestive system by attracting water into your stool, making it softer and easier to pass for a smoother bowel movement. (Yes!)
What are Sources of Inulin?
Meet our fiber friend, chicory root, a plant in thedandelion family Asteraceae. Chicory root is great for the body as it is packed with prebiotic inulin that helps with bowel movements, regulates blood sugar, and assists in weight management. The inulin that is used in supplements most commonly comes from soaking chicory roots in hot water.
Another type of inulin comes from the Jerusalem artichoke. A sunflower plant look-alike, Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is widely cultivated as a root vegetable. It is a good source of complex carbs and has minimal effect on blood sugar levels. Aside from being inulin rich, Jerusalem artichoke is also full of vitamins, minerals, and protein. (Amazing!)
Agave is another type of inulin. Agave belongs to the plant family Asparagaceae (formerly Agavaceae), and is found in the regions of the Americas, particularlyMexico, and the Caribbean. Agave is found to be a significant source of fiber and yes, it is that agave that you find in tequila. Agave is also used as a natural sweetener.
Health Benefits of Inulin
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Is there anything inulin can't do? (Well, other than our taxes.) Here is a quick overview of the health benefits of inulin:
Constipation: Studies have shown that inulin can help relieve constipation. Since inulin is a soluble fiber, it goes through our bodies without being digested and feeds the good bacteria in our gut which helps promote healthy digestion.
Weight Management: Other studies suggest that chicory root fiber consumption helps regulate appetite and decrease overall calorie intake, possibly leading to weight loss.
Blood Sugar Regulation: Inulin also helps control blood sugar, which is especially helpful for those with diabetes.
Other Benefits: There are also other reported potential benefits of inulin such as supporting heart health and helping prevent colon cancer.
Wanted: More Inulin
High-fiber consumption can greatly benefits one’s health which we have been saying since we launched this blog. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a dietary fiber intake of 25 to 30 grams a day. However, dietary fiber intake among adults in the United States is only about 15 grams a day. (Sad face).
While we all want to eat healthier, sometimes it's not possible to hit our daily fiber goals via diet alone. That's where Bonny comes in.
Bonny: A Custom Fiber Blend of Psyllium Husk and Inulin
Bonny is a prebiotic fiber powder that contains the good stuff for your gut.
Bonny has inulin from chicory root and psyllium husk; this means a custom blend of soluble and insoluble fibers just for you.
Our fiber supplements are plant-based, all-natural, science-backed and delicious.
Remember, before any major lifestyle changes, consider consulting your doctor.
As always, we wish you pleasant poops.